The Medical Faculty at the University Muenster belongs to the biggest and most researching faculties within Germany. The research profile is structured in five research areas linked by the Cells in Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM) and by strong research-active imaging institutions (Radiology including Translational Radiology Research Imaging Center (TRIC), Nuclear Medicine, European Institute for Molecular Imaging (EIMI); one research area comprises cell differentiation, regeneration and neoplasia, About 1900 researchers, among them 116 professors, contribute to the scientific output of the faculty.

The closest cooperation partner is naturally the University Hospital of Muenster (UKM) with a capacity of more than 1.500 beds, which is a landmark in university high-performance medicine. The Institute of Clinical Radiology (IKR) at the UKM is one of the leading central radiological institutions in Germany at a Clinical University Center. One main clinical and scientific focus of the institution is womens’ care. For breast imaging and assessment high-resolution ultrasound systems, digital full-field mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis systems, 3.0 Tesla MRI of the breast as well as all kinds of image-guided breast biopsy techniques are available.

For early detection of breast cancer, the German government decided the implementation of a nationwide quality-assured Mammography Screening Program, according to the European Guidelines. Every woman in the age group between 50 and 69 years receives a personal invitation for a quality assured mammography examination in one of 95 nationwide screening-units. The program addresses about 10 million females and has a screening interval of two years. The Reference Centers for Mammography play a key role in the German screening-program. Under the administration of the German Mammography Screening Office, the tasks of these Reference Centers are among others to supervise the single screening units and to evaluate the entire project.

The Reference Center for Mammography in Muenster (RCM) was the first of five institutions distributed throughout Germany, established at the University Hospital Muenster, located in the Institute of Clinical Radiology. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Walter Heindel the work started in 2005. The RCM supervises 22 screening-units in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia with a catchment area of 2.2 million women.

Range of tasks

  • Advanced training and education of the screening-staff; teaching facilities
  • Medical quality assurance including examination technique and medical processes
  • Technical quality assurance of all mammography-units in the screening-program
  • Management and coordination of the associated reference screening-unit
  • Scientific evaluation of the population-based breast cancer early detection program

Research priorities (see project-related publications)

  • Analysis of screening effectiveness
  • Exploration and clinical trials of new examination techniques for diseases of the breast
  • Capabilities of radiation exposure dose reduction

Research partners


The Institute of Clinical Radiology and the Reference for Mammography Muenster accept applications for fellowship positions in breast imaging. The fellowship offers clinical experience in diagnostic mammography, digital breast tomosynthesis, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, interventional procedures and opportunities for research.